Wall of Force to Trap Dragons... No save?


Advice


As the post states is this intentional?


More context required.


Going by the post wording, the answer is No save. The spell allows no save. You can cast it, and a dragon (or anything else) has no real say in the matter typically, as long as you don't place it through them (possibly their space) or through another object, you can do it.

Like blahpers stated. We need a bit more details of what you're asking. Naturally, a wall of force can be used to pen in a dragon just like almost any other wall spell (with varying degrees of success depending).

A single casting is not likely to work, since the spell is not Shapeable (S), so you can't curve it or shape it like a wall of stone. You could theoretically use multiple walls of force and build a box around a dragon. You wouldn't have a roof or floor (since they must be vertical), unless you had the walls extending up to another form of ceiling.

As for the feasibility of penning in a creature like a dragon, thankfully this is the Advice forum and not Rules, so I can suggest some advice for a GM in cases where a PC or NPC is trying to create a wall right next to a target. If the scene is basically non-combat and there's no stretching out wings or flailing limbs, you can do it. In a situation where combat is occurring (and the dragon is attacking in melee or flying with its wings outstretched, and obviously depending on the size of the dragon), the GM can rule that there's a chance that a limb, like its neck, a claw, a wing, or its tail (the thing stretches 30 feet from the actual back of the creature's space) might interfere the spell if they insist on trying to shave or cage the creature in. Whether that means it automatically will fail or he just gives it a chance for it to occur is up to him (and whether he thinks the spell would be ganking a creature unfairly). Just move the wall back a square or two extra, where you aren't trying to basically thread a needle.

Should this apply to every creature with a reach attack, like a human with a longspear? Probably not equally, but your question specifically involves a dragon. Again though, it's not technically specified rules-wise, though it is following the intent of the spell. Also, a GM is expected to make calls in such situations, like where you have a 30 foot snake, but it only takes up supposedly 10 feet of space, like it's constantly coiled at every single moment, or where he can just say it moves through a 2-foot opening despite being a Large creature and not having Compression or even being considered to be squeezing.


It was as I thought, people trying to argue that a "horizontal plane" could be applied as to mean vertical plane despite the choice word Vertical being used. And then they argue that others did it; it's the usual situation of players trying to rules lawyer despite the GM saying what the rules are.

edit: said player was trying to box in said dragon and couldn't understand how it rubbed me wrong.


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Indeed! When will Paizo take a page from Merriam, Webster, and Oxford about getting in on that sweet, sweet dictionary money? They should be using their resources redefining every word into its RPG analogue. That should be the first release for Pathfinder 2.0 right there!

I mean, how can we GMs be expected to even communicate in basic, common language with our players without everything being spelled out. Thank God we at least got them to add a simplistic glossary so our poor, beleaguered players don't confuse standing with laying down.
"I'm prone? That's like being vertical right?


That's possibly the best thing I've read in a while.

They kept being a smart ass about how it was such a "genius plan" and others used it, and their past groups used it without complaint; while others have used it in such a fashion or in ways to crush people in a pit, that's NOT how it's supposed to be used. He then continued on how it was such a worthless spell after that... T_T;;


I was in a campaign (as a PC) where some players where always seeking ways to completly render their foes unable to retaliate, and it was.... annoying as hell.

Pathfinder rules are full of loopholes for the ones that want to seek them... but doing so completly destroy the challenge and the suspense of a campaign, so it's a self-destructive attitude.

You should try to speak them honestly and tell them that fightning is part of the challenge, so that you will allow that once, but not more... because if you stop them with that spell, they will seek something else, and again something else, and again something else.


They try to make various arguments despite wording to contradict me as GM now & then, but it's usually resolved rather quickly. But a dragon comes in and they have to argue with every single action and meta-game to hell with questions like;
-what's the DR?
-How long does its fear effect last?
-What's it's strength etc. etc.

Just play the damn game for f!$! sakes, you've beaten everything else I've thrown at you, trust you can beat it or that you have a way to escape...


I would direct them to the spell forcecage. It's 2 levels higher and essentially does what they are trying to do with wall of force. Sure you could do multiple castings of wall of force, but unless the dragon is staying perfectly still it would be able to foul it by simply sticking a limb in the way. Additionally, since it's a dragon I'm sure it would make the spellcraft check to know what spell is being cast.

the 2nd edition D&D version of this spell let you shape it vertical, horizontal and even a dome. my old d&d group figured out they could blender creatures to death via dome shaped wall of force and a horizontal blade barrier. The only draw back is that I ruled that if this killed an enemy it also destroyed all of it's magic items. This helped curb how often it was done a little bit.


Goemon Sasuke wrote:
He then continued on how it was such a worthless spell after that... T_T;;

That is a terrible sour grapes attitude.

I admit that my house interpretation of wall of force strengthens the spell. It can be created any number of feet above the ground and if its end intersects a curvy stationary object, such as the side of a cave, then it shapes its edge to fit against that object. This twice let a wizard PC cast a wall with a gap underneath it to cast spells at a huge creature trapped in a cave.

Other uses and failures of Wall of Force:

1) A powerful lich once cast a Wall of Force to split a 14th-level party so that he oould destroy the weaker members first. The wizard cast Dimension Door and teleported himself and two strong martial characters right next to the lich.

2) An ghost wizard NPC trapped a 7th-level party in a room via Wall of Force across the door before he cast Cloudkill to fill the room. The low-fortitude members of the party found ways to avoid the cloud, such as jumping in a tub of water, while the high-fortitude members fought the ghost.

3) A 12th-level party was in a fireball-throwing fight with a sorceress NPC 200 feet away. When she dropped low in hit point, she cast Wall of Force to block further ranged attacks as she drank poitions to heal up.

4) In my latest game session the 16th-level party was destroying the tools for the evil plan while fighting off 12th-level guard minions. They spotted the CR 19 well-armed and well-armored 17th-level cleric NPC rushing down the hallway toward them. The party closed and locked the door against her. After she smashed the door in 3 rounds, the wizard cast Wall of Force across the doorway. She started smashing through the wall to a side room (thinner than the wall to the main room). The wizard cast Resilient Sphere around an enemy minion to block the doorway between the side room and the main room. The party finished and escaped. The cleric waited until the Wall of Force expired and then entered the room. The players were upset with me when they learned that she cast Miracle to restore everything they destroyed.

That last event raises the question: what good would boxing up the dragon accomplish? The box will fade out in a minute or two and release an angry dragon.


Goemon Sasuke wrote:

That's possibly the best thing I've read in a while.

They kept being a smart ass about how it was such a "genius plan" and others used it, and their past groups used it without complaint; while others have used it in such a fashion or in ways to crush people in a pit, that's NOT how it's supposed to be used. He then continued on how it was such a worthless spell after that... T_T;;

How old is the player? in 1st (and 2nd iirc) edition, a Wall of Force could totally be cast as a sphere or hemisphere, and none of that Hardness 30 20hp/caster level business: If you didn't have a Disintegrate Spell, you weren't going anywhere! And forget about Teleporting: Spells do not pass through in either direction: that was that! You might as well be trying to turn a doorknob right after rubbing ointment into your hands.

I always use to take great pleasure in coming up with a genius plan, and GMs always used to take great pleasure in finding flaws with it, and making it turn out badly, leaving me no choice but to spread wide my wings and deliver my super villain speech.

The Wall of Force trick might work if you had a small character run into a cave with a wide entrance but narrow exit. The party seals the entrance with a Wall of Force as a Readied Action, and everybody runs away with their pockets full of Dragon Treasure, hoping they don't get tracked down. Unless the dragon has Teleport or something....


Goemon Sasuke wrote:

They try to make various arguments despite wording to contradict me as GM now & then, but it's usually resolved rather quickly. But a dragon comes in and they have to argue with every single action and meta-game to hell with questions like;

-what's the DR?
-How long does its fear effect last?
-What's it's strength etc. etc.

Just play the damn game for f~## sakes, you've beaten everything else I've thrown at you, trust you can beat it or that you have a way to escape...

Make them do rolls. Knowledge is not automatic.


I believe he's in his 30's, I know D&D allowed for some insanity but PF either simplified spells or took them out all together.

Genius plans are one thing, I welcome them. But to make up something that isn't in the rules is another thing. Especially when I stated multiple times it's not possible but you insist it's legal because your other GM allowed something broken.

I did send them to refer them to Force Cage but that didn't fit his criteria. What he wanted from it was to basically build a box with exits/entrances just big enough for medium sized creatures... they basically wanted to create a kill box.

edit: I should also add that the dragon was 30ft in the air at the time as well.


Goemon Sasuke wrote:

I believe he's in his 30's, I know D&D allowed for some insanity but PF either simplified spells or took them out all together.

Genius plans are one thing, I welcome them. But to make up something that isn't in the rules is another thing. Especially when I stated multiple times it's not possible but you insist it's legal because your other GM allowed something broken.

I did send them to refer them to Force Cage but that didn't fit his criteria. What he wanted from it was to basically build a box with exits/entrances just big enough for medium sized creatures... they basically wanted to create a kill box.

edit: I should also add that the dragon was 30ft in the air at the time as well.

It just occurred to me that maybe he honestly misremembered the rules. There are old rules that would have allowed him to cast Wall of Force that way.

Casting Wall of Force in an aerial battle sounds kind of cool: an invisible, immovable very hard barrier suddenly appearing in front of the Dragon for him to smash into at his full flying speed? That's cold. Would you give the dragon a chance to avoid the barrier? What would that take: a Spellcraft Check followed by a Fly Check? Like a bug on a windhield!


I would go with that if we didn't go over the wording of the spell itself, I believe I even stated it may have for D&D but not so for PF.

It does state that the wall is opaque, so it's not exactly invisible.

generally as a rule of thumb, an attack (spell or otherwise) either requires one of these criteria if not all of them;
-attack roll
-reflex save
-spell resistance

I know if I pulled that on them they would've rage quit then and there.


Goemon Sasuke wrote:

I would go with that if we didn't go over the wording of the spell itself, I believe I even stated it may have for D&D but not so for PF.

It does state that the wall is opaque, so it's not exactly invisible.

Maybe I am misreading and you are imply that you house-ruled it to not be an issue in your game, but I am almost positive that the first sentence states that the wall of force is invisible. (Wall of fire is stated as being opaque.)

Now, as for whether that means it's invisible for purposes of see invisibility or true seeing is up for debate. I tend to view it as a force, not unlike gravity, which, while not visible (to typical creatures, which is how the game rules and spells and their effects are meant to be read from the point-of-view of), is not something that shows up under effects that reveal invisibility. Just like I don't suddenly state that a caster of see invisibility can now see the normally invisible air, wind currents, gravity fields, and ultraviolet spectrum of light.


Pizza Lord wrote:
Goemon Sasuke wrote:

I would go with that if we didn't go over the wording of the spell itself, I believe I even stated it may have for D&D but not so for PF.

It does state that the wall is opaque, so it's not exactly invisible.

Maybe I am misreading and you are imply that you house-ruled it to not be an issue in your game, but I am almost positive that the first sentence states that the wall of force is invisible. (Wall of fire is stated as being opaque.)

Now, as for whether that means it's invisible for purposes of see invisibility or true seeing is up for debate. I tend to view it as a force, not unlike gravity, which, while not visible (to typical creatures, which is how the game rules and spells and their effects are meant to be read from the point-of-view of), is not something that shows up under effects that reveal invisibility. Just like I don't suddenly state that a caster of see invisibility can now see the normally invisible air, wind currents, gravity fields, and ultraviolet spectrum of light.

In my last post, I was talking about 2 completely separate things. I think Goemon's first and second sentences are unrelated, and you are mistakenly combining them to create an unintended meaning.

I don't think he houseruled the Wall of Force to screw his players.

But I just re-read Wall of Force: you are right that it is not opaque. It is invisible. Invisible is the opposite of opaque.


Pizza Lord wrote:
Goemon Sasuke wrote:

I would go with that if we didn't go over the wording of the spell itself, I believe I even stated it may have for D&D but not so for PF.

It does state that the wall is opaque, so it's not exactly invisible.

Maybe I am misreading and you are imply that you house-ruled it to not be an issue in your game, but I am almost positive that the first sentence states that the wall of force is invisible. (Wall of fire is stated as being opaque.)

Now, as for whether that means it's invisible for purposes of see invisibility or true seeing is up for debate. I tend to view it as a force, not unlike gravity, which, while not visible (to typical creatures, which is how the game rules and spells and their effects are meant to be read from the point-of-view of), is not something that shows up under effects that reveal invisibility. Just like I don't suddenly state that a caster of see invisibility can now see the normally invisible air, wind currents, gravity fields, and ultraviolet spectrum of light.

That's what I get for listening to them... unless SRD left out something from the book which isn't uncommon.

@Scott, you are correct the two are unrelated. The first was addressing the fact that Pathfinders use of Wall of Force is strictly a vertical wall as worded and can't be used to make floors/ceilings, horizontal or diagonal. It even states that the spell can be circumvented by ghosts in its example by going through said floor/ceiling.

The second part referenced that I read somewhere or they said it was an invisible wall but slightly opaque. This one wasn't really the issue so much as they tried to use it to TRAP a dragon with no save who was 30ft in flight mid-combat without any save what so ever.

I just now got a message saying that he could have pinned it down (somehow) by using an incline, and of course still argues/denies that there would be a save.

It turned what was supposed to only be a 4-5 hour battle into 12 hours of questioning everything the dragon did and trying to use spells in unintentional ways that aren't within reason or mechanically possible.


4-5 hours was the expected length? Dayamn.


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Goemon Sasuke wrote:

It was as I thought, people trying to argue that a "horizontal plane" could be applied as to mean vertical plane despite the choice word Vertical being used. And then they argue that others did it; it's the usual situation of players trying to rules lawyer despite the GM saying what the rules are.

edit: said player was trying to box in said dragon and couldn't understand how it rubbed me wrong.

Unless they are fighting on a plane with Subjective Directional Gravity this does not make sense.


DarkPhoenixx wrote:
Goemon Sasuke wrote:

It was as I thought, people trying to argue that a "horizontal plane" could be applied as to mean vertical plane despite the choice word Vertical being used. And then they argue that others did it; it's the usual situation of players trying to rules lawyer despite the GM saying what the rules are.

edit: said player was trying to box in said dragon and couldn't understand how it rubbed me wrong.

Unless they are fighting on a plane with Subjective Directional Gravity this does not make sense.

In the Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms campaigns, iirc, those would be the Ethereal, Astral, and Elemental plane of Air. Tarterus had those worlds next to each other, so you didn't have infinite choice, but you had some choices. Wasn't it Nirvana that had those interlocking gear-worlds? And what would that mean anyway if the Wall' were immobile but the world underneath were explicitly moving? If you were right at the junction of 2 interlocking worlds, you might decapitated or cut in half by a Wall of Force acting like a swinging pendulum blade. If the Wall' stayed motionless while the world turned beneath it, then it could be devastating as it sliced through everything as the turning world brought fodder to its impossibly thin edge!


It was THE boss for a dungeon, in its lair, that took 4+ games to reach at 6-7hrs per game. We also use armor as DR so Natural armor of dragons and those types are quite high. I stressed the dangers of said dragon through npc interaction and other things they should've picked up on through observation like a swamp underground covered in plague.

edit: my world is basically a living sandbox; where a lvl 1 could get lost or if he were lucky/determined enough could fight lvl 10+. I won't put them in these situations during planned scenarios but I won't tell them no either if they want to attempt suicide.

edit 2: if your mission is to save the world in X days/weeks etc. but you want to crusade for equal rights or fight a kingdom who supports slavery, that's fine. You better hope someone else is taking care of that world ending event.

I recall many dragon fights for 1st and 2nd taking a couple of sessions, if not the entire session. It helps when the dragon isn't stupid trying to fight toe-to-toe vs the entire party. Or multiple dragons.

I believe it would be collision damage until the wall broke. That is unless you mean specifically in 1st/2nd AD&D when it was unbreakable if I'm not mistaken.


The Wall is invisible. The only time I can recall any mentioning of something less than the usual meaning of invisible is if the caster was using magic such as See Invisible and trying to describe what the caster might "See". Yes earlier versions were unbreakable. Even in 3.5 it had no DR hence rules in the 3.0 Epic Level Handbook which included Feats and rules to allow Raging Barbarians for 'break' and 'smash' through a Wall of Force as I recall.

In a sand-boxed home campaign that sounds like the above my answer would definitely be Yes allow a save, probably Reflex if any surface of the Wall would end up being within the reach of the space occupied by the dragon when the spell is cast. Dragon saves the Wall fizzles as the Dragon interposes some portion of its body in the Wall or the caster simply misjudges space and some portion of the terrain gets in the way or what ever makes for good narrative at the moment. But bottom line the spell slot/scroll what ever is used and the Wall fails to appear.


One thing I used to do when I had loophole seeking players was to remind them that the rules go both ways. Anything they can do to the monsters can be done to them.

Most of the time that settled things.

They also knew I would actually do it, if it was a rule.

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